Three years have passed since the exceptional “Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand”. And like all good things in life, a Primordial album takes its time to come by. But is “Where Greater Men Have Fallen” just good? No, it is well more beyond than that.
For all those that awaited something like the shocking “To The Nameless Dead” or “The Gathering Wilderness”, I’m sorry but you’ll be disappointed. But who buys a Primordial album for the “shockers” anyway? It is the burdensome atmosphere they create and the emotions that they evoke that made us love this band, and they do these things exactly on “Where Greater Men Have Fallen”.
First things first, when you thing you’ve seen everything there is from Alan Averill, he will laugh in your face and set new standards. His performance in here is so majestic and otherworldly that at times he sounds more than a vengeful spirit of the past, returning to haunt humanity for its sins, than a mere human singer. Powerfully bitter and maniacally agitated, like an animal in a cage, even in his deeper notes sounds likes he is forcing himself not to scream his lungs out against the world.
This brilliant performance does not overshadow the music of course. The aggressive anti war epitaph of the same titled songs can assure you of that, right from the beginning. Doom riffs like in “Ghosts of The Charnel House”, black metal punishments like “The Seed Of Tyrants” and grievous melodies like in “Born To Night” are not created every day, really top notch music here and trademark Primordial stuff. And I can’t think of anything else to say about “Wield Lightning To Split The Sun” other than my own personal experience, meaning that around the 40th replay I started thinking “Okay, we’ve established this is one of Primordial’s most glorious riffs, now stop listening to it”.
Sure, there are a couple of songs that did not really do the trick for me, and times that I thought some other songs needed just a bit of extra something to reach the level of “Primordial perfection”. At the end of the day though, “Where Greater Men Have Fallen” is what it needs to be, a really tough piece of art to ingest. Its massive bulk recreates our emotional world in a whole new productively spiteful way.
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